LONDON (EuroBasket Women Division B) - Great Britain women’s coach Mark Clark has resigned.
Clark steered the team to promotion to EuroBasket Division A, but in January’s Relegation Round the team failed to safe-guard its status and dropped back into Division B.
“Following discussions with British Basketball I am resigning from the position of head coach of the women’s team,” Clark said in a statement released by British Basketball.
“I feel extremely privileged to have head coached the GB team and proud of the progress the team has made over the three seasons. I would like to formally thank the Basketball Associations of England, Scotland and Wales for the opportunity they gave me three years ago and the work of Great Britain Basketball in developing a program that is on the verge of competing with the elite countries in Europe.
“I am stepping aside to give the program as much time as possible to establish the new direction it seeks.
“I would finally like to thank all the players and staff who have worked with me in establishing the program and hope that they are able to enjoy future success for our game at international level."
Britain have been trying to prove they should be allowed to take up the spot in the women’s Olympic tournament at the London 2012 Games that is normally reserved for host nations.
FIBA, the world governing body of basketball, declared when London was awarded the Games that they wanted to be certain of the competitiveness of British teams before allowing them to take up those places.
And FIBA also saw a huge opportunity to create a legacy in Great Britain for basketball beyond 2012 that would include an improvement of the national league, a successful participation of British teams in international basketball both on national team level and club level as well as a general strengthening in the structure of British basketball.
Last summer, Britain lost a series of close games and finished bottom of a group that included three teams that went on to reach this summer’s EuroBasket Women Final Round in Latvia.
Chris Spice, performance director of British Basketball added: “We would like to thank Mark for his tireless efforts with the British Basketball women’s high performance program over the past three seasons. We wish him well in his future coaching endeavours.”
British Basketball said they will be looking for a new head coach for the women’s training camp in June 2009.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS